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Motional Messages on Motor Vehicles

In part three of this series, we take a look at what happens when you combine the benefits of motional and mobile advertising in one moving medium.

By Jennifer LeClaire

Think mobile and motional ads generate revenue? Find out how tri-faced messages on moving trucks could produce even greater profits.

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  • Mobile billboards are nothing new and truckside advertising is becoming an industry standard.

    Both mediums are well known for their abilities to take messages directly to selected target audiences within defined demographics.

    Both mediums give advertisers a street level presence that is difficult to ignore.

    So what happens when you add motion to mobile mediums? The result is an amped up advertising campaign that is catching on with buyers across the nation.

    In part three of this series on motional advertising, we will explore the impacts of adding motion to a proven mobile platform.

    Touting outdoor media
    We can base the potential success of motional advertising on vehicles by combining its known benefits with the underlying benefits of outdoor and mobile advertising.

    Outdoor media play a vital role in the media mix, according to a study by Arbitron, Inc., an international media and marketing research firm; because it reaches consumers missed by other media and enhances exposure of other media. Outdoor media reach consumers not exposed or only lightly exposed to newspaper and local television news, for example, and is complimentary to radio campaigns.

    Outdoor media also reaches the entire socioeconomic spectrum of Americans, according to the study. People with heavy vehicle mileage and long commutes are more difficult to reach with both the newspaper -- almost one out of three Americans do not read a daily newspaper anyway -- and local TV news broadcasts. On the contrary, the study showed that virtually every American (96 percent) travels in a vehicle each week as either a driver or a passenger.

    Moreover, the Arbitron study concludes consumers that are reached repeatedly with a message show higher advertiser awareness, brand recall and purchase behavior. Vehicle wrapping, then, offers advertisers an excellent opportunity to reach commuters on the highways and city streets.

    Marvelous mobility
    Mobility is also a key attraction for advertisers. While most outdoor media is stationed in one place, mobile billboards allow advertisers to take a message to selected audiences at designated times. Targeting football fans with a sports drink campaign, for example, is as easy as driving around a stadium parking lot before and after game time when multiplied thousands are on hand to receive the message. The same strategy works in shopping malls, on neighborhood streets and in traffic jams.

    Truckside advertising is well established among outdoor mobile advertisers, according to a benchmark study conducted by National Family Opinion. Computer marketer PeoplePC commissioned the independent study to determine the effectiveness of the medium as implemented by New York City-based Mobile Ad Group. The study involved the opinions of more than 50 adults in two markets. Researchers compared the opinions of participants exposed to a campaign by PeoplePC via print, broadcast, traditional outdoor and truckside advertising versus opinions of people from Detroit that received all of the same messages except for the truckside ads.

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    The results are telling. The truckside advertising campaign generated a 30 percent increase in awareness within the test market. Moreover, the study revealed that 52 percent of people in the target demographic reported increased awareness of the campaign as a result of seeing the truckside ads. All in all, the campaign yielded a 54 percent increase in the number of people that considered PeoplePC when buying their next computer.

    “For the past few years, truckside advertising has been promoted based on cost effectiveness and ability to enter markets where conventional out-of-home advertising methods are limited or unavailable,” says Stephen Freitas, chief marketing officer of the Outdoor Advertising Association of America. “Now there’s conclusive proof of truckside’s value as a powerful marketing tool that impacts awareness, attitudes and opinions.”

    Tri-faced messages on trucks
    So we see the potential impacts of both outdoor and truckside advertising. Now for the big pay off, the latest trend in mobile outdoor advertising, the future: tri-faced messages on trucks.

    The Association of Mobile Advertising funded a study to gauge the efficacy of a campaign that advertised a fictitious brand of dog food in which three mobile trucks carried double-sided posters touting the Boomerang brand. Awareness increased by up to 32 percent among those surveyed and more than 70 percent associated the brand with mobile advertising.

    Likewise, Product Acceptance and Research, Inc. (PAR) conducted a study of motional ads for the beer industry. PAR examined sales without any point-of-purchase display, with a static display and with a motion display. The results showed that implementing the motion display increased sales by more than 100 percent.

    But proponents of mobile tri-message display trucks say the benefits of this new platform are multiplied exponentially because it combines the proven success of both concepts to take advertising to a new level, often at lower prices.

    “One of the great things about this product is that you can operate the truck in areas where you are prohibited by zoning regulations to put up traditional billboards,” says Dave Buring, principal of Memphis-based Ads On A Roll, LLC. “Demand is even higher in those areas.”

    Depending on the vendor, 12 different advertisers can display messages that are installed on all four sides of the trucks at four- to eight-second intervals. This enables the vendor to spread the risk and the advertiser to enjoy lower prices than traditional billboards.

    “This is an indictment of the effectiveness of billboard media in general because if you don’t move the advertisement to a different spot then it becomes stale and ineffective after a period of time,” says Bob Tarabella, principal of Admobile, Inc. in Fairhope, Al. “It tends to become part of the landscape. Trivision trucks are undeniably eye-catching.”

    Motion rules
    The trend is clear: motion rules. From scrolling signs to holographs to video messaging boards, motional displays are finding a place at the point of purchase. Likewise, in football stadiums and on outdoor billboards, tri-message displays are gaining momentum.

    And tri-message trucks are hardly the final frontier.

    Experts say new technologies will add motion to signs in innovative ways that have yet to be explored. Movement is the wave of the future and motional signage manufacturers are ready and waiting to partner with sign shops of all sizes to jointly profit from the movement toward motion.

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